News for Monday February 24th, 2020
Compiled by Dave Graichen
Mother nature cooperated over the weekend and in doing so All weekend parades rolled as scheduled in Cenla. Conditions were a bit cold Friday afternoon for the Classic Car and Cheerleaders parade and Saturday morning for the Children’s Parade. But, crowds still lined the streets and loaded up on beads. Sunday conditions were cloudy but it was still a perfect day for a parade. Festivities now move south to Mamou, Lafayette, New Orleans and all points in-between.
Mardi Gras safety will be a big topic in New Orleans over the months ahead, after a second person in three days was struck and killed by a float. 58-year-old Joseph Sampson died Saturday after a passing tandem float hit. Afterwards, the city banned the use of tandem floats. Last Wednesday a 58-year-old woman was run over by a parade float and died.
An Alexandria-based cybersecurity agency has broken down how the 2020 Presidential election could be hacked in a report distributed to the National Association of Secretaries of State. While Louisiana appears to be secure, Ingalls Information Security CEO Jason Ingalls says in a recent intrusion response, the agency discovered vulnerabilities to ransomware. State agencies such as the OMV were recently impacted by a ransomware attack. But Ingalls says the state’s election systems are a testament to good security.
Longtime Louisiana legislator Butch Gautreaux has died. Gautreaux, served St. Mary Parish for many years as a member of the Louisiana State Senate from 2000 to 2012, prior to that he served 4 years in the Louisianan House of Representatives. Family members posted on social media yesterday a short statement announcing his passing. No other information has been released at this time.
The rules and regulations for the state’s industrial hemp program are now finalized and the first license for industrial hemp has been issued. As part of the process, applicants have to undergo a background check. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says the rules are guided by federal law. The planting season begins in mid-April.
A former Westlake pastor has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography charges. 46 year old John Michael Ward was arrested last summer by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and accused of molesting a child for two years. At the time of his arrest, the child was 11 years old.
A study commissioned by Louisiana’s Board of Regents indicates there is a lack of evidence to warrant the establishment of a law school in Shreveport. The decision comes just weeks after the board struck down the idea of a dental school in the area.
Governor Edwards announces the creation of a “Climate Initiatives Task Force” that will work on ways to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to slow sea level rise. The governor would not name any specific carbon emission targets at this point, but it’s still early in the process. Edwards showcased his billion dollars a year coastal restoration plan last week, but officials admit it requires a slowing of sea-level rise to work longterm.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is in effect for the remainder of the Carnival season. Louisiana Highway Safety Commission spokesperson Mark Lambert says the goal is to prevent fatal drunk driving crashes. In 2018- the latest year for available stats, two people were killed over the final days of the Mardi Gras season the lowest since 2012.
For the fourth straight year, the Humane Society of Louisiana is running an adoption program for a few of the horses that walk in the Mardi Gras parades. Humane Society of Louisiana Director Jeff Dorson says 55 horses have been adopted over the last three years and they are expecting another successful year. Go to Facebook-dot-com, slash mardi-gras-horses to view the horses up for adoption.
After a disappointing two to nothing loss on Friday, the 11th ranked LSU baseball team bounced back to win Saturday and Sunday to take the weekend series at the Box from Eastern Kentucky.